Challenge #2: Tamarind

Anya’s first challenge required her to make a very specific thing, a pork pie. For some of the challenges, I’d like to give her a little more freedom to experiment, and so for her second challenge, I thought I’d give her the task of figuring out what she could make that used a specific ingredient.


Tamarind (Madlen/

Tamarind is a fruit that grows in the pods of the tamarind tree. It has a distinctive sour flavour and is used around the world in a variety of ways. It adds the sour tang to pathia curries; it gets made into ice-cream, chutney, and sweets; and is a key ingredient in Worcestershire Sauce. All in all, it’s a pretty versatile little beast and its wonderful sourness enhances many dishes.

I’ve never seen the fruit itself on sale, but blocks of tamarind pulp and jars of ready-prepared paste are easily found.

Challenge #2

Make two dishes, one savoury, one sweet, using tamarind as a significant ingredient in each. You are free to choose any dishes you like – the ones linked above are simply examples.

You may use either tamarind pulp or paste, as you prefer.

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4 Responses to Challenge #2: Tamarind

  1. Anya Jackel 11th October, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    I accept this challenge.

    Far and wide I shall travel, fat and happy I shall be.

    Watch for news.

  2. LarryB 11th October, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    I’m surprised that you’ve never seen Tamarind fruit. I’d think it would me much more readily available in England than in the US. While my down-the-block supermarket doesn’t have it, I know of at least three Asian-focused supermarkets where it’s readily available.

    I buy the not-from-concentrate paste in a jar for the convenience. I don’t think it makes that much of a difference if it’s an ingredient. It’s a MUST for Malgalorean-style coconut curries.

    • dopiaza 11th October, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      “I know of at least three Asian-focused supermarkets”

      There you go. I don’t know of any round these parts – that’s the price of living in a rural area away from the cities. I’d guess Birmingham would be the nearest likely source to me, and trekking there and back would end up taking a very large chunk of the day.

      Anya may fair better as she lives in London.

  3. LarryB 11th October, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    er, Mangalorean.

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